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Is She the next Imaan???

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This morning, when I read my usual paper, The Toronto Star, this story stroke me like a...{gasp! :eek: gasp! :eek: }. And why not share it with you.



Race no barrier, model finds


But Muslim modesty in conflict with racy runway designs


By David Graham

Fashion Writer

PARIS — Toronto's Yasmin Warsame may be entering the rarefied world of celebrity in which she can be identified only by her first name. In international modelling circles she is already known simply as Yasmin.


There is a constant whir of activity in the slick Next modelling offices on the fifth floor at 188 Rue de Rivoli across the street from the famous Louvre museum. But even among the extraordinarily attractive men and women who mill, smoking cigarettes and chatting on cellphones, and the floor-to-ceiling displays of comp cards of the models Next represents, Yasmin emerges as someone who transcends mere beauty.


In faded jeans, a black tank top, jean jacket and tan loafers she appears almost regal.


"She is one of the most beautiful black women I have seen in the past 20 years," says her Paris agent Caroline Perdrix. "She is in the category of the absolute best," she adds, citing only Iman (now married to David Bowie) and Waris Dirie as possible comparisons. All three women hail from Somalia.


All the while, Yasmin is trying to remain calm, taking her meteoric rise one day at a time, not wanting to think too far into the future for fear of jinxing everything. For the past three weeks, she has been concentrating on her job — "walking those clothes down the runway ... and not falling," she laughs, seated at the Café Ruc, just around the corner from Next.


Born in Mogadishu 23 years ago, Yasmin moved to Toronto in 1993. She went to school, worked at odd jobs, married and had a child before she was 20. Her four-year marriage ended just a few months ago, but Yasmin says she remains on good terms with her ex-husband.


He takes care of their 3 1/2-year-old son, while Yasmin pursues a dream that she and her agents believe could alter the course of her life.


Yasmin struggled as a model in Toronto, picking up assignments here and there for Fashion, Wedding Bells, Birks and The Star's fashion section. While many stylists and editors recognized her beauty, there simply wasn't enough work in Canada to sustain a career, particularly because her look was so high couture, so international.


Her Canadian agents at Next decided it was time to introduce Yasmin to the big leagues. This summer, they went for broke and unveiled her as nothing less than a haute couture model.


In Paris, she was given a crash course by Jay Alexander, the man who has taught almost every supermodel one of the seemingly simplest tasks — how to walk.


The gamble paid off.


During the fall couture shows in Paris in July, the buzz began. Eight design houses, including Yohji Yamamoto, Chanel, Balmain, Ungaro, Givenchy and Valentino, hired Yasmin to work their runways. There were photo shoots, including one in Harper's Bazaar by Karl Lagerfeld and another for British Vogue.


And then, during the spring/summer 2003 collections, which started in New York in September and ended in Paris last week, curiosity about the skinny black girl from Toronto exploded.


Yasmin was hired for a few shows in New York, then 13 in Milan and an amazing 16 shows in Paris.


According to Perdrix, American Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley is convinced Yasmin is a rare find and is intent on making sure all the right people know it.


Yasmin left Paris for New York immediately after the collections ended. She modelled at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, which aired Tuesday evening. And on Saturday she was photographed by Steven Meisel for an American Vogue spread on the designs of John Galliano, scheduled to be published this winter.


"It's all so new and frightening," she says, with a mock-shock look on her face. From brushing shoulders with Gisele on Valentino's slick, Plexiglas runway to the plate of blood-red steak tartar that's just been placed in front of her, it's all a little unnerving.


Yasmin eats.


This might come as a surprise to the clients and editors in Canada who rejected her because of her weight. "They told me all the time that I'm too skinny. It hurt my feelings," says Yasmin, barely concealing that the hurt is morphing into resentment.


Though she may live in Toronto, it is beginning to sink in that she may never work in Canada again.


But apparently what Toronto didn't want — her graceful comportment, exotic manner, lanky frame and impossibly long neck — the world craves.


"My weight and my look were an obstacle in Toronto," she says. "I can't help but feel a little betrayed."


Yasmin is almost 6 feet tall, her measurements 32-24-35. In any other world, such dimensions would elicit unwelcome stares. Here, she is exactly what they are looking for.


Though Yasmin and her agent lament she is not making "phenomenal money" now, the potential is growing. "It's all about getting her seen and making sure she is connected with the right clients. No one is making the kind of money they did in the late '80s," says Perdrix. Still, Yasmin's daily rate has been established at $8,000 (U.S.). It will grow from there.


There are barely a handful of black models on the runways here. But the colour of her skin hasn't been an issue for Yasmin. Rather, she has had to struggle with her Muslim religion, which commands women to be modest, particularly in their dress.


Yasmin says her mother, who still lives in Somalia, is happy that she's successful. But as much as possible, Yasmin tries to shield her mother from the whole story, the chic lifestyle and racy clothes.


"She is aware to some extent but the bottom line is my religion does not support what I do. Muslim women are to cover themselves and modelling doesn't quite do that. I am not so religious, but I respect my religion. My parents were never very strict about such things and encouraged their children to be independent."


Yasmin is the youngest of 12 children who live all over the world. Her father died two years ago.


It's this independent spirit that helps Yasmin suffer the gruelling schedule of as many as four shows a day in Paris, the hair stylists who don't know what to do with her short, chaotic hair and the makeup artists who have little experience with black skin.


"The other girls are friendly. And they'll give you advice if you ask for it. But no one is here to babysit you."


Her agents tease Yasmin that she might get a big head considering the attention she has drawn.


Yasmin shrugs it off.


On one side of her comp card, Yasmin is dressed as a fierce, Mad Max-styled warrior in plush furs, splotches of inky paint on her face and strings of tiny shells dangling from her head. It was part of a photo shoot that appeared in Vogue Pelle, the Italian Vogue magazine geared to leather and fur fashions.


She flips the card over.


Pointing to a photo of herself that appeared in Toronto's Fashion magazine, Yasmin underscores her other persona, the one she's more familiar with.


In the photo, Yasmin stands gracefully in a short Gucci dress holding hands with her young son. He's shirtless in jeans and a firefighter's helmet. She rubs her index finger over his tummy.


"All I have to do is look at that face and I'm brought right back to Earth. He's such a boy, such a little man. It's tough being away from him."


After all, he has never known her as Yasmin Warsame, or even just Yasmin.


He's only known her as "mom."


From the Toronto Star




I wish if I had shown you her photos, which were splashed, four of them, in the Fashion section of that paper. Unfortunately, the Toronto Star's website doesn't carry the printed photos.

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WOW!..Another ugly one of ours representing US


First Imaan(Ugly)


Then Weris(foolxumo)


Then tan(xiito xiito)


They should be kicked from the behind!

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damn...walendo...don't be hatin'...let her do her thang' come U not opposed to the so-called singers(e.g. Hassan aden samater & all the others)...just coz she makin' more than u...c'mon now...nowonder somalia won't even have a govt..established soon...its coz we hatin' on us.......she's got the opportunity...then y not use it....



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maseeeeeeeeer anii wadaa hayo .....war gabartaa iska dayoo...... whatever she does is up to her.....can't u read she's 23 she can do whatever she wants ......anyways good luck to her.

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What we perceive as being ugly in our own terms is indeed reverse here that's what they[Westerners] defined beauty, so don't be awakened now if you see these kind of things.


and by the way who know's what she's she might be claiming that she is a Nomad.

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